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Fallon returns home to face Dayton

Thomas Ranson
lvnsports@yahoo.com
Anthony Freeman (9) of the Greenwave and his teammates face winless Dayton tonight a 7 p.m. t the Edward Arciniega Athletic Complex.
GARY LANNERS PHOTO |

The Greenwave football team showed last week that it can be the best team in the league — and one of the worst.

It’s the latter feeling and bitter taste that Coach Brooke Hill wants to eliminate when Fallon (2-2, Northern 3A) hosts Dayton (0-4) tonight at 7 p.m. at the Ed Arciniega Athletic Complex. The game will be broadcast on KTUU (99.5) with Larry Barker calling the play-by-play and Randy Beeghley providing color commentary.

After spotting South Tahoe a comfortable 32-point lead at the lake last Friday, Fallon stormed back with 30 fourth-quarter points and was an onside kick recovery away from completing one of the biggest comebacks in state football history. South Tahoe won, 38-30.

“To score 30 points in the fourth quarter and lose means you had to play pretty bad in those first three quarters,” Hill said. “It was good to see them play with heart and passion. It’s something we can build off of. It’s great they felt that and remember that feeling and continue it.”

All but officially defeated in the fourth quarter, Hill switched quarterbacks for the second week in a row, opting for senior Conner Nelson. Nelson’s dual threat abilities, especially on the ground, frustrated Wooster two weeks ago and South Tahoe didn’t have an answer. Fallon scored on a scramble that led to a passing touchdown and executed a double reverse.

“He does a little bit more with his legs and he’s still a capable passer,” said Hill, who said junior Christan Nemeth will be the backup. “He can throw the football, too. In some ways, he’s more of a dual threat with what he can do with his legs.”

The running game with senior Cade Vercellotti got going in the fourth quarter, which led to a touchdown and the defense held its own in the first half against the Vikings, allowing a couple touchdowns thanks to playing on a short field in several drives because of Fallon turnovers. The third quarter, though, was concerning to Hill when Fallon dug itself into a 32-0 deficit.

“If you have a bad loss and that was not a good loss for us, that fourth quarter showed us when we’re playing and when we’re executing, we’re pretty darn good,” Hill said. “We put up 30 points in the fourth quarter and I don’t think we’ve ever done that. You can’t have three quarters of bad football.”

With Dayton coming into town tonight, there will be many similarities, beginning with its new head coach. Ex-Greenwave junior varsity coach Pat Squires landed the Dayton job earlier this year and has the team competing although the record doesn’t indicate accordingly.

“Fallon was an important part of my coaching life,” Squires told the Nevada Appeal. “Working with the staff and Brooke was phenomenal. I had those seniors when they were sophomores and juniors on our JV team. I know who they are and I love every one of them. They are great kids. It’s going to be a little bittersweet for me.”

Hill’s looking forward to seeing his former coach return to the Lahontan Valley.

“It’ll be nice,” Hill said. “Pat was a part of this program for eight, nine years. He did a good job with on the JV program. You can tell they’re an improved football team.”

But once the game kicks off at 7, it’ll be back to business for both teams as Dayton searches for its first win, and Fallon hopes to rebound from last week’s road loss.

“It’s going to be real similar. It’s really two carbon copies of each other,” Hill said of facing Dayton. “They’ll be two competitive football teams. That’s the thing: he’s got them competing and that’s important.”

The Greenwave will need to start tonight’s game like it ended last week. Hill wants to see consistency from his defending state champs and it begins with players stepping up and taking charge.

“At this point, our goal is to play better than last week,” Hill said. “If we can improve off what we did last week, then everything will take care of itself. We’ve got to get to playing four quarters of football. That’s our main goal.”